Canada's Testing Requirements Should Be Scrapped At The Canada-US Border, Officials Say

Canadian and American officials came together to tell the federal government to end the requirements.

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​Canada-U.S. border crossings in Manitoba and Ontario.

Canada-U.S. border crossings in Manitoba and Ontario.

Politicians want Canada's testing requirements to be scrapped for travellers crossing the Canada-U.S. land border right away.

The mayors of Windsor, Niagara Falls and Sarnia along with the mayor of Niagara Falls, New York, joined the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada on February 25 in calling on the Canadian government to end testing at border crossings.

Even though the requirement will ease so that rapid tests can be used rather than PCR tests, the officials said they still want the federal government to remove the pre-entry test at the land border.

"The practicality of the loosening of this restriction really means nothing to the average traveller," said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, according to CBC News.

"So I think what we need to do is trust Canadians to make smart decisions," Dilkens said. "But having a requirement for a test is really an optical illusion for safety. It really is providing no real protection."

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Mayor Jim Diodati said that travellers might actually bypass Canada because of this travel rule.

"The rules keep changing and it's a labyrinth," he said. "So people are just going to choose not to come."

On the other side of the Canada-U.S. border, Niagara Falls, New York, Mayor Robert Restaino said that his country relies on the vaccination status of travellers, which "makes sense."

Susie Grynol, CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada, called on the federal government to remove all testing requirements at the land border to "end the uncertainty" for American travellers to Canada, saying that the travel rules "devastate" border communities.

While travellers still have to test before entering Canada, as of February 28, the rules are changing so that they can use a rapid antigen test instead of a PCR test to meet the requirement.

If a rapid antigen test is used, it has to be authorized by the country in which it was purchased and administered by a laboratory, health care entity or telehealth service no more than 24 hours before the scheduled flight or arrival at the border.

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